The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has allowed schools to offer education in Indian languages from pre-primary to Class 12.
This is a major step towards promoting multilingual education in India and giving students the opportunity to learn in their mother tongue.
Currently, most CBSE affiliated schools use English as the medium of instruction and some schools Hindi. However, the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) advocates the use of home language, mother tongue, local language, or regional language as the medium of instruction.
The NEP 2020 also states that the medium of instruction at the primary stage should be the child’s mother tongue or the local language. In line with this, the CBSE has directed the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) to prepare new textbooks in 22 scheduled Indian languages. These textbooks will be available from the 2024-25 academic session.
The NEP 2020 is completing three years this month. To mark the occasion, the government is expected to announce the new school curriculum.
In an academic circular to its schools on Friday, the CBSE stated that multilingual education is a valuable approach to fostering linguistic diversity, cultural understanding, and academic success among students. The board also stated that CBSE affiliated schools may consider using Indian languages as the medium of instruction from pre-primary to Class 12, in addition to other existing options.